Are you ready for your first home robot? Amazon is hoping you are as they just announced the latest addition to their line of Alexa-enabled devices. With the new Amazon Astro, you get all the latest Amazon tech on wheels. Finally, Alexa, or Astro, the default wake word, can freely move about your one-story home. But, she isn’t quite ready to use the stairs yet.
The idea of having a robot the size of a small dog following you around and awaiting your command sounds very cool. However, is it more than a novelty, or can this piece of tech add value to your home life? For sure, some people will just get one for fun, but there appear to be some scenarios where the Astro could become a valuable piece of a smart home.
Many of us now have smart cameras on our front doors and throughout our homes. Until now, however, they have always been stationary. Unless you have enough cameras to cover every inch of your home, you can’t see everything, especially not up close. With the Astro, you can finally see every last room and corner. Through the Astro app, you can move Astro around to any room in your home to take a look. Since Astro rolls pretty low to the ground, you can raise the camera up to 42″ on its telescoping arm to see what’s on top of tables and counters.
Amazon adds more value to the security benefit with the Ring Protect Pro subscription. In addition to allowing you to record video to the cloud, with the subscription, you can schedule Astro to patrol your house automatically and even program the robot to respond to detected events, investigate, and record video. You can also use Astro with the Alexa Guard program and get smart alerts for sounds like broken glass and smoke and CO alarms.
Checking on Aging Loved Ones with Amazon Astro
Many people with aging parents have been using Amazon’s devices in various ways to stay connected. For those with an elderly parent who lives alone, the Echo Show, Echo Dot, and other Alexa-enabled devices are a great way to keep in touch. They can drop in and check on someone, schedule reminders, and give them a hand-free way to contact you in an emergency.
The Amazon Astro adds a whole new dimension to this due to its mobility. You can access Astro from your smartphone and move the device to check on your loved one no matter where they are in their house. With two-way video, you can see them, and they can see you.
Amazon sees even more opportunity here as seen in the forthcoming accessories and software. For example, Amazon will be selling a third-party blood pressure cuff that will ride along with Astro. The robot can then be programmed to remind someone to check their blood pressure and have the cuff ready. Amazon is also promoting as “coming soon” an Alexa Together subscription focused on remote care of aging loved ones with reminders, activity alerts, and help with day-to-day activities like creating a shopping list.
Amazon Astro as Another Set of Eyes for Parents
It won’t be long before parents find creative ways to make home life a little easier with Astro. Even with the great new video baby monitors that are available, there are sometimes you will want to take a look and listen in the nursery. You can just open the app and send Astro. As kids get older, Astro makes it possible to check on them in a less intrusive way. Astro may also become a great way to round up the kids for dinner while you have your hands full in the kitchen.
At Helpful Home, we’ve made it our mission to help busy homeowners stay on the cutting edge of smart helpful home technology. We provide tips, articles, and informative how-to’s to keep you up to speed on the industry-leading smart home innovations which can enhance our lives and enrich the family experience in today’s hectic world.
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